Reporters may contact: Ann Abbas
SMU Public Affairs
(214) 768-7655

April 25, 2001


DALLAS (SMU) -- A gift of $1 million from Gene and Jerry Jones has provided a hall for special events in the new Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University. The hall has been named the Gene and Jerry Jones Great Hall.

"The Jones Great Hall will be one of the most versatile and frequently used areas of the new Meadows Museum," said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. "We are grateful to Gene and Jerry Jones for providing this beautiful facility, which will serve a wide range of groups from the university and the greater Dallas area."

The Jones Great Hall will be used for receptions held in conjunction with the museum's special exhibitions and other special events of the museum, the university and the Dallas arts community. The oval-shaped hall will accommodate up to 350 people for receptions and more than 100 for seated dinners.

The new Meadows Museum doubles the exhibition space for the Meadows Museum Collection, one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain. The museum, which opened in March, is located on Bishop Boulevard just north of the Mockingbird Lane entrance to the campus.

The 66,000-square-foot building is six times larger than the previous museum, which opened in 1965 as part of a new arts center at SMU. The new museum provides significantly expanded facilities for research and for educational and public programming. It includes visitor amenities and event facilities, such as the Jones Great Hall, that are comparable to those of much larger metropolitan museums. The Jones Hall is readily accessible from other public service areas, including a restaurant and a museum store. An underground parking garage provides convenient access for museum visitors and attendees at special events.

"With this gift, Mr. and Mrs. Jones have once again been wonderful friends to the Meadows School and SMU," Meadows Dean Carole Brandt said. "This space is simultaneously warm and very elegant, a place for ceremony and community, camaraderie and celebration. Over the years, it will be filled with great art, great performances and great people."

The Meadows Museum and its internationally acclaimed collection were developed through the generosity and dedication of the late Algur H. Meadows of Dallas. The Meadows Foundation has continued to support the museum through the years and provided $20 million for design and construction of the new museum building.

For the past 12 years, Jerry Jones and his family have owned and operated the Dallas Cowboys with an emphasis on community leadership as well as winning the Super Bowl. Each year, the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Dallas Cowboys Charities fulfill thousands of requests for ticket packages and autographed memorabilia items that produce proceeds ranging from $100 to tens of thousands of dollars per donation. These donations raise millions of dollars each year for schools, churches and other nonprofit agencies around the country. In addition, they annually host and underwrite major fund-raising events for Happy Hill Farm Academy/Home and the Salvation Army's Gene and Jerry Jones Family Center for Children, which offers relationship-based child care in Irving for low-income families.

Gene and Jerry Jones are also involved in various other boards and civic causes. They are both members of the Salvation Army's Dallas County Board and the National Advisory Board. Gene is a member of the Board of Trustees for Children's Medical Center of Dallas. She also serves on the board of the Family Gateway and Happy Hill Farm Academy/Home in addition to being a supporter of the Children's Medical Center Auxiliary, the Dallas Museum of Art, Family Place, The Children's Education Fund and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Jerry Jones has been actively engaged with and is a national trustee of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

Gene and Jerry Jones have served on several SMU boards. Gene Jones is a current member of the boards of Meadows School of the Arts and the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies in Dedman College. She is a former member of the board of SMU's Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series. Jerry Jones has served on the board of the Tower Center. One of their three children, Jerral Wayne Jones Jr., received a J.D. degree from SMU.

The Jones gift for the Meadows Museum counts toward SMU's $400 million capital campaign launched in 1997. This five-year campaign is the most ambitious fund-raising effort in the university's history, with the largest goal ever sought by an institution in North Texas. The campaign seeks endowment and other support to continue strengthening the quality of students, faculty, academic programs and selected facilities at SMU.